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Philosophy Assignment: Critical AnalysisOn“This World Is The Best Of All Possible Worlds”


Task: This world is the best of all possible worlds”. How does Leibniz reach this conclusion and what, if anything, is wrong with the arguments leading up to it?


1. Concept of Best Possible Worlds, Arguments of Leibniz’s Philosophy
The phrase “Best of all possible worlds” has been given by German Polymath Gottfried Leibniz and his central argument was actual world is the best of all possible worlds. The main objective of Leibniz was to identify problem of evil and providing solution to overcome this from the world. In his analysis, the question of theodicy has been focused and the question was “if Almighty is omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient, how do we account for the injustice and sufferings that is existed in the globe”? According to the argument of Leibniz, Almighty could not create a world unless it was the best possible world and this argument has been analyzed in depth for identifying logic of the phrase best possible world. Leibniz has given five arguments in order to address the question and his theory has provided mixed results in the society. Some people have accepted this philosophical theory and some has criticized the theory adversely.

According to Adams,(1972), if act-utilitarian standard of moral goodness has been applied, it can be said that best state can be created in the world. The theory of Leibniz also focuses on the creation of best state by overcoming evils from the world. Hence, the philosophical theory of Leibniz has been accepted throughout the globe but one drawback is metaphysical necessity has not been provided in the theory. According to Leibniz Almighty can create best possible world but for implementing this philosophy belief in God is important. Jager,(2014), has stated that number of possible worlds is not finite and this is why there is no single best possible world. This against argument says that nothing is best in the world and hence best possible world cannot be created. Leibniz has stated that the world without evil is completely unimaginable and hence, it can be said that best possible world can be created by God by overcoming evil deeds.

2. Critical analysis of best possible world and identify whether it is impossible or not
As mentioned by Steinberg, (2007), best possible world cannot exist as it is impossible if God does not exist. Hence, the best possible world may exist if Almighty exists and thatGod has ability to create best possible world. As mentioned by Kraal, (2013), George Schlesinger was the first modern philosopher for developing an argument that no best possible world can exist. As per Schlesinger’s argument greatest state of happiness cannot exist as happiness varies from man to man. Based on explicit argument of Schlesinger, it can be said that best possible world can exist while human beings are in the state of extreme desirability. As asserted by Nagasawa,(2005), Plantinga has argued that belief in Almighty is completely basic and due to externalist epistemology,he has claimed that belief in Almighty might be justified independently of evidence.

According to Plantinga, a possible world contains a large number of people and they have experienced unalloyed bliss (Plantinga, 1974). He has depicted that it is better than a world containing a lesser number of human beings. Hence, he has concluded that for any possible world there is another possible world and that is always better. As given by Adams, (1972), better possible world has been existed than the actual world and if the world has been developed by an omni-being then it might be the best possible world. Hence, actual world is not best possible world and it is not developed by omni-being.Based on the above arguments, it can be stated that best possible world cannot exist logically if there is no existence of Almighty(Plantinga, 1974). On the other hand, if Almighty exists, then best possible world can be existed but people have different opinions regarding beliefs of God. In this context, it can be said that Leibniz has focused on the eradication of evil and according to him as sufferings and injustice are existed in the world, there is a probability of creating best possible world. As sufferings are existed in the world, justification is important and this can be made by Almighty only.

3. Critical Evaluation of Leibniz’s best world
According to Steinberg, (2007), only Almighty has the capability to create best world and it can be created by omnipotent Almighty only. Hence, best of logically possible all worlds can be developed by the God only and it is not a criticism only it has established the concept of the God.Based on the view of Nagasawa, (2005), according to Leibniz, suffering is good as it encourages human will but degree of sufferings is needed to be justified properly. As mentioned by Bertrand Russell, the theodicy given by Leibniz is logical and this reveals that Leibniz’s theory is not just a criticism like Kant’s deontological moral theory. Leibniz has considered three elements including evil, good and free will and the best possible world has been developed by the Almighty by justifying these factors. Furthermore, he has mentioned three forms of evils including physical, moral and metaphysical and these evils can be overcome by considering good. Continuing with same line, Russell has also said that physical and moral evil comes from imperfection or metaphysical evil (Jager, 2014). In terms of criticism it can be said that Leibniz’s theory has failed to show metaphysical necessity logically and Leibniz has mentioned that human freewillis incompatible or contradictory. This statement is not true according to Russell and hence it can be said that Leibniz’s concept of best world is partly criticized and partly accepted.

4. Conclusion
The above discussion clearly says that belief in the God and Omnipotence can create best possible world. Based on theory of Leibniz, it can be said that if God adopts decision for creating world, he has the responsibility to create best possible world. Leibniz has made final conclusion that either the existing world is best possible world if it has been created by Almighty but if the world cannot be considered as best possible world, then Almighty cannot be considered as our creator. Considering three forms of evils and making judgment regarding evil, good and free will, Leibniz has made the justification that this world is the best of all possible world and his arguments are not totally wrong as per criticism of Russell.

Adams, R.M., 1972. Must God create the best. The Philosophical Review, 81(3), pp.317-332.
Jager, R., 2014. The development of Bertrand Russell's philosophy.Routledge.
Kraal, A., 2013. Is the Existence of the Best Possible World Logically Impossible. International Philosophical Quarterly, 53(1), pp.37-46.
Nagasawa, C.B.Y., 2005. The best of all possibleworlds. Synthese, 143, pp.309-320.
Plantinga, A.C., 1974. Which worlds could God have created. The Journal of Philosophy, 70(17), pp.539-552.
Steinberg, J.R., 2007. Leibniz, creation and the best of all possible worlds. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 62(3), pp.123-133.


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